Japan's Suga Preparing Replacement of LDP Nikai


Tokyo, Aug. 30 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is preparing to replace the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's powerful No. 2 leader, Toshihiro Nikai, ahead of this autumn's House of Representatives election, sources said Monday.

Suga met with LDP Secretary-General Nikai at the prime minister's office the same day to convey his plan to replace party executives including Nikai, the sources added.

The embattled prime minister may carry out the shake-up before the Sept. 17 candidacy filings for the party's Sept. 29 presidential election to drum up support for his re-election bid, according to the sources.

At Monday's meeting, Nikai said he accepts Suga's plan to reshuffle the LDP leadership team. But members of Nikai's faction may oppose his replacement, possibly dealing a blow to Suga's bid.

Nikai paved the way for Suga's victory in the previous LDP presidential election in September last year. He announced his support for Suga ahead of other party bigwigs, who quickly followed Nikai to back Suga.

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Jiji Press